First Time Subbing! Help!!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by ehd0222, May 18, 2012.

  1. ehd0222

    ehd0222 Rookie

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    May 18, 2012

    Ok, so here is a little of my backround...

    I graduated in December with my BA in Psychology and in March I started an alternative teaching program to get my Teacher Certification. I also just recently went through a substitute orientation in the district I live in and two subbing jobs, both for first grade, have come available for Monday and Tuesday of next week.

    I have no real experience in the classroom and I am terrified to accept either of these assignments. Can I get some feedback of how others have dealt with their first time in the classroom subbing? I don't know why I have such a fear about it, but I do.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    May 18, 2012

    It is scary. I remember when I started subbing. The first night I could not sleep at all. I was terrified. The only way to get over your fear is to get into the classroom and do it. The first graders will love you because they love everyone (normally). Just make sure you enforce the classroom rules and you will be fine. The only way to do it is to just go ahead and do it. Good luck and tell us how it goes.
     
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  4. ehd0222

    ehd0222 Rookie

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    May 18, 2012

    Thank you Tami! I know I just need to do it, but it seems so daunting to accept the assignment right now. I just keep staring at it and panicking!

    My fear is that the teacher won't leave a detailed enough lesson plan and also I don't really know how to transition from one subject to the next...
     
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  5. ehd0222

    ehd0222 Rookie

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    May 19, 2012

    What should I bring with me when subbing?
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    May 19, 2012

    Learn a few easy games for elementary (like playing Sparkle with spelling words). This could help fill time if necessary.

    I subbed in the district I went to school in, so I knew the teachers and I knew the expectations. I never brought anything with me; I knew I didn't need to.
     
  7. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    May 19, 2012

    Hello,

    There is a special subjects forum for subbing. Lots of good people helping on there.

    First, try to follow the lesson plans as closely as possible. The teacher understands if you can't finish everything, but if you didn't finish something because you were playing your guitar for the kids- not okay.

    First thing in the morning, no matter the grade, introduce yourself and explain your expectations for the day and review class rules. I usually do something along these lines for first: "Good morning! My name is Mrs. Y. Your teacher is at a conference today, but she will be back tomorrow. She told me that you are very well behaved first graders. I am sure that you know all the class rules and how to follow them even though she isn't here today. Who can raise their hand and tell me one of your class rules?" If you want to do something other than the teacher's regular discipline plan, (which they ought to tell you how theirs works in the plans), now is the time to explain it. Some ideas: writing the kids name on the board if they are bad- a check mark loses them 5 minutes of recess. Or name on the board for being good, like a Super Stars list.

    Leave a note at the end of the day and let the teacher know what did or did not get done. Make sure to jot down the names of students who gave your trouble and why, as well as students who were angels.

    Try to learn the kids names. In grades 1-3 they probably have a name tag on their desk so you can cheat. When you take roll, look at the student whose name you just called. You'll find yourself remembering the faces and names better.

    Make sure to glance over the emergency info before school, you never know when there might be a fire drill (or a real fire! That happened to me as a sub once).

    To change subjects just tell them to change. If you are done with math and it is time for reading say, "Friends, math time is over. Please turn in your worksheet and get out your SSR book." If you're worried about wasted time you can time them or count down or sing a song.

    I don't usually bring things while subbing, but now I have a little bag I packed and take. When I bring it, I don't use it, and when I forget it, I need it. Go figure. I put in: a read aloud book, some stickers, dry erase markers, flash cards in addition and multiplication (for around the world). Nine times out of ten you won't need any of this, but that one time you go in and there are no plans..... well, you can read a book while you figure it out!

    Subs have an arsenal of filler activities. Learn some little games. Heads up 7 up, silent ball, camp songs, shimmy on down, etc... You'll learn these over time, but it'd be helpful if you knew a few in case you find yourself scrambling. Say, a special gets canceled and you have 45 minutes to fill. When in doubt, there is usually some kind of unfinished project they need to work on or give a writing prompt ie: you are a superhero for a day. What is your super power. Write a story about your super day.

    I hope I haven't overwhelmed you. Subbing takes a lot of practice. And everyday will be completely different. The nice thing about subbing is that when you have a bad day, then the day is over and you don't have to go back! Good luck on your first day!
     
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  8. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    May 19, 2012

    You'll do great. Kids will often try to test subs, so just be mindful that they are going to test your limits right away. Show them you are a no funny business kind of teacher.

    Introduce yourself to other teachers while you are there and start building a good reputation right away by keeping the class well managed. Know some games to play like heads up 7 up, four corners, etc. It is also good to leave notes for the teacher about what was and was not finished.
     
  9. Lysander

    Lysander Companion

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    May 19, 2012

    You'll be great! There is a lot of good advice on here. Use what works for you. It is always a good idea to bring a bag of things to do, even if you don't use it. Some teachers are great about leaving plans (I like to count myself in those numbers, since I was once a sub myself). Others leave almost nothing at all. On my first sub job for 5th grade, there was a 45 minute lesson that just said "Apple cutouts." Ummm, ok...what do I do for the other 40 minutes?

    I've found that a good read aloud is The Lorax. With younger students, you can simply read and discuss the book. With older students, you can also include a discussion on the environment. Sites like this and others have great free worksheets that you can bring. Simple story maps, Venn diagrams, etc. can be used for many different themes. If you can, find a book of "this day in history" facts. These could be used to start a class discussion or writing prompt. Another book that is great is Dr. Seuss' "My Many Colored Days" (can you tell I'm a Seuss fan?) It tells about how colors can be used to describe feelings. Again, this could be used to launch a discussion or writing/illustrating prompt. There is also a video of this that combines the story with music from the Minnesota Orchestra. I'm not sure if it is still available, but you could check if you're interested.

    With first graders, keep lesson parts short and fun. Even if you stay on the same topic for a while, change the activity around as much as possible. They love read alouds, Simon Says, etc.

    I'm sure you'll do a great job.
     
  10. ozteach

    ozteach Comrade

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    May 20, 2012

    Best advice I was ever given: act like a teacher. :woot: Also, do a read aloud and some writing/drawing activity with it.
     
  11. ehd0222

    ehd0222 Rookie

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    May 22, 2012

    These are all so great! Thanks guys. I chickened out on the two day first graders subbing assignment and instead signed up for a half day Kindergarten one. I am going to ease my way into this subbing business! I am really excited and not quite as nervous with teaching the Kindergartners. I will be doing that this Thursday!
     
  12. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    May 22, 2012

    Good luck in your subbing adventures! There's nothing like subbing to get a taste of the classroom. :) The posters above have some great advice!

    My suggestion (and I think most people would disagree with me, but it worked with my style) is NOT to go over rules with the students at all. For me, I eventually found that if I talked aobut rules and made it clear that I expected them to follow such rules, they would immediately start testing me that I meant it... and 20 kids testing you at once is so not fun. :-( I always had more success by giving a quick intro, going over the schedule, and getting right to work. If a student had trouble behaving, I would administer a consequence, and that usually was the extent of my behavior issues. :)
     
  13. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    May 22, 2012

    Subbing is something that you have to do to learn how. Jump in and have fun! You've received some great advice in this thread. As a teacher, I expect subs to follow my plans and keep everyone safe. Just love the kids and you'll have a great day!
     
  14. Jen84

    Jen84 Companion

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    May 23, 2012

    I didn't have any real classroom experience before I started subbing either. I was a little nervous my first time, but the day went really well. I'd recommend arriving early so you have plenty of time to review the lesson plans and familiarize yourself with the classroom and school. As was mentioned before, make sure to locate the emergency procedures info in case you need it. Write your name on the board and introduce yourself to the class when they arrive. The teachers I have subbed for have always left very detailed plans, but I keep a binder of filler activities with me just in case. The more you sub, the more experience you will gain, and your confidence in the classroom will rise.

    I'm sure you'll have a great time on Thursday. I subbed for a full day in a kindergarten classroom and the students were so sweet. :wub:
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    May 24, 2012

    I think everyone is a bit nervous the first day of subbing. That can only be helped by experience and preparation. Preparation would be to get to the school extra early, dress professional, and talk to teachers about what to expect. I also think bringing a non-controversial book or two to read aloud is good in case of dead time. A few other safe activities are good. It is best to stay as close to the teacher's lesson plans as possible. I believe in teachers being creative in their own classrooms. but subbing is different--you are there to continue her plans, and only add your own IF there are not enough plans for you. Even then, you need to be careful to keep it safe--math worksheets, a safe book to read to them etc.

    Subbing is best learned though through experience.
     

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